Sentencing of former Sipekne’katik Band Finance Director adjourned until Oct. 28

Lawyer Luke Craggs and Jeffrey Hayes leave the courtroom June 16 after a jury found Hayes guilty in theft, fraud trial/Photo by Stephen Brake

The sentencing of a Halifax man convicted of stealing and defrauding more than $300,000 from the Sipekne’katik Band in Nova Scotia has been adjourned until October 28.

Jeffrey Cecil Hayes, 61, was scheduled to be sentenced in Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on Thursday. However, both the Crown and Hayes’ lawyer disagreed on the actual amount Hayes was convicted of stealing from the Sipekne’katik Band coffers.

In June, a jury found Hayes guilty of theft, fraud, fraud by an official and three counts of possession of stolen property over $5,000. A charge of possession of stolen property under $5,000 was dismissed.

During the five week trial, a forensic auditor testified that he traced the money that Hayes used to build a house at 22 Kittiwake Ridge in Halibut Bay, N.S. and purchase two Jeep SUVs came from Sipekne’katik Band bank accounts.

Prior to Thursday’s court proceeding, Justice John Murphy asked both the crown and defence to submit an amount each side believed Hayes had taken from the Sipekne’katik Band and he would give his decision on the final amount on September 15.

Crown attorneys Shauna MacDonald and Rick Hartlen submitted that Hayes stole $401,658 from the Sipekne’katik Band. Luke Craggs, Hayes’ lawyer, submitted that Hayes took $144,982. After reviewing the two submissions, Justice Murphy ruled that Hayes was responsible for taking a total of $360,086.69.

Justice Murphy deducted $6,750 that was paid to Hayes’ daughter, Amy Hayes, for bookkeeping work she did for the band as well as $11,100 Hayes charged the band for accounting software conversion. He ruled the net amount of money Hayes stole was $342,236.69.

“I realize that there was no evidence supporting that work by Ms. Hayes but on the other hand, the financial affairs and the accounting records of the band were, frankly, in a disastrous state that I’m not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that those payments were not supported by some work by Ms. Hayes,” Justice Murphy said.

Hayes did not appear at his hearing at Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Halifax on Thursday. According to his lawyer, Hayes was unaware he was required to be present in court for this hearing.

Hayes worked as the Director of Finance for the Sipekne’katik Band from January 2009 until he was fired in January 2012.

During his trial, the crown called more than 20 witnesses to testify and submitted more than 20 exhibits as evidence.

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About Maureen Googoo 270 Articles
Maureen Googoo is an award-winning journalist from Indian Brook First Nation (Sipekne'katik) in Nova Scotia. She has worked in news more than 30 years for media outlets such as CBC Radio, the Chronicle-Herald and the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Maureen has an arts degree in political science from Saint Mary's University in Halifax, a journalism degree from Ryerson University in Toronto and a Masters degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City.